Almost debt free and here is our next home!

I paid off my second to last debt yesterday and realised that after 2 years of mostly very frugal living, no holidays, mostly not going out or eating out (unless it was free!), and buying things secondhand, I’ve managed to pay-off around £9000 in debt! I have one more debt to pay and then I will be TOTALLY DEBT FREE!!!

It’s not as if I acquired debt through mismanagement of funds or greed, it was simply life struggles. I spent many years commuting back and forth to work spending over £300 a month in petrol and I helped support my family at times and one income into a household while paying all these things, no matter how much you cut things back, just doesn’t seem to stretch very far!

Moving near work helped enormously. At that stage (2.5 years ago) I was able to start saving and pay down the old debt bit by bit. It seems to have been forever but FINALLY I can see the winning post and it is giving me a huge sense of accomplishment.

I’m not ‘out of the woods’ quite yet though. Right now I have no income and I need to secure a job once we move house in 2 weeks time (how the hell am I going to pack up everything in 2 weeks!!). Renting is so much more expensive in Wiltshire than it is in South Yorkshire too!

Nevertheless today we got the good news that our referencing and credit checks had been completed and we are officially moving into our next rental. It’s an old townhouse but it has a garden which backs on to a park so it gave me a sense of more tranquility than you’d expect. My dream is to live back in the countryside one day…

But for now, SWINDON, HERE WE COME!

Moving soon and looking for work!

It looks like we’ll be relocating to a different part of the country on January 23rd!

Soooo I am currently looking for a part-time or full-time position as a digital media coordinator or a communications officer in Swindon and am available to start mid-February. My passions in addition to digital/media/communications are people! Please can you take a moment to view my online CV & portfolio, it would be much appreciated. PS: Today I will be applying for my first job now my online portfolio is completed! Click here >>> https://carolynekins.design/

I am also open to freelance work too (from mid-February)… please view some examples in my portfolio. https://carolynekins.design/design-portfolio/

Thank you so much!
#swindon #jobs #digitalmedia #creative #marketing #people #adobe

Big changes, everything happens at once.

Sorry for being so absent but when things change with me they seem to happen big style and very quickly. A new start, a new beginning, the time was right and I’ve already started packing…

After 5 fantastic years with PMS Diecasting Ltd, next week is my last week at work then I’m relocating in the New Year to Wiltshire to be closer to my family. I have been lucky enough to work with some amazing people and shall miss all their faces when I finish at the end of this month. Being ever practical I am now looking for opportunities in the #swindon area (to start Feb/March) or working remotely and I would love to work with smaller/medium businesses or larger charities, non-profits or good causes. Ultimately I like being hands-on and people are important to me.

Please check out my LINKEDIN profile https://www.linkedin.com/in/carolynekins/ for my experience, skillset and volunteer work.

I am available in January for smaller remote digital projects until I secure a full-time position. Thank you 🙂

#jobs #charities #volunteering #digital #website #marketing #seo #travel #marketingexecutive #digitalmediacoordinator #socialmedia #nationaltrust #adobe #wordpress #manufacturing #food


Changes: Surgery

There are a couple of major changes happening in my life right now. Both will be a bit painful and challenging for a while but I’m a great believer in not being afraid to embrace change when the time is right.

Today I am on my 3rd day post-op. I had my gallbladder removed on Thursday. I’m sore and exhausted but apart from the pain where the 4 incisions are, that constant dull and depressing rib ache has already gone (had it on and off for years) and I now have the psychological relief that I won’t ever again have a major gallbladder attack which is very painful and very frightening. I’m feeling rather thankful….

Gallstones are a very common medical condition, infact one in four women and one in six men will suffer with gallstones throughout their lives.

I recommend you CLICK HERE to read about gallstones in more depth at GUTS UK.

For me I started getting pain on and off several years ago, more of a dull kind of rib pain. I didn’t notice it very often, and sometimes I’d not feel it for several weeks so it was unimportant to me. I figured if it was something worth worrying about it would become more painful or happen more frequently. And then a couple of years ago I really started to feel the rib pain when I was out hiking or I’d get some really painful zaps top right under my rib cage. Once again these were quick to come and go but the pain in my right side and back of rib was more often there than not and for the first time I began to worry a bit. I’d been working hard on my health earlier this year and after abstaining from processed high fat and high sugar foods I let my hair down over a few days attending a meal and a buffet and the very next day my guts started to really loudly grumble and churn and my rib was very sore. During that night I woke up with a horrific upper right abdominal pain which quite swiftly moved to my right side and around the back of my right rib. It was so painful I literally couldn’t move. I managed to get up out of bed and propped myself up on the sofa. The pain was radiating into my back, was it a heart attack?

I ordered a taxi to take me down to urgent care. It was beginning to ease off little by little but I still had bloods taken, an ECG, urine and obs done including a chest x-ray. All came back normal. Felt like a fraud! They gave me co-codamol extra strength and said it possibly could be gallstones and to see my GP.

By the time I saw my GP I was getting really bad sternum and between shoulder pain, the GP got me in for an ultrasound within 10 days and the US confirmed that I had several large stones about 3 cms in size. Pretty big stones!!! I went back to see my GP who referred me to the surgeon and after that appointment in June I was put on the list to have my gallbladder removed and had my pre-op assessment at the end of July.

I’ve been waiting since then, I’ve had several mini flare ups during this time, nothing as serious as the first time but the constant discomfort has left me exhausted and often unable to go out hiking which was one of the physical activities helping me get fitter and lose weight.

The past couple of months have seen me gain 20 lbs, partly because of not exercising as I’d have liked to be able to do but also that it’s had an impact on my emotional well being at times and I’ve sought comfort in foods I’ve had to avoid to lose weight.

Getting the call for surgery a couple of weeks ago was such a relief and my first nerves only kicked in when the surgeon spoke with me to get my consent 30 minutes before my op. He talked about my obesity, about the possibility of needing an open cholecystectomy and that I had a higher risk of post-op complications because of my BMI. I briefly considered walking right out of there…

And then before I knew it I was in with the anesthetists and slipping quickly away into oblivion and seemingly seconds later waking up in the Day Surgery Centre. I felt dizzy and had to spend several hours on oxygen but everything had gone really well and by 3 pm my oxygen was off and I was trying to chew on a sandwich!

A couple of hours later I was heading home in a taxi with my daughter and the past couple of days have been spent mostly getting lots of rest in bed with frequent light meals and lots of water!

I’ve been walking around more today inbetween sleeping all hours and stitches are due out this Friday.

C xxxxxxx

Maltby Cenotaph, Remembrance Sunday 2019

A little time spent reflecting at Maltby Cenotaph this afternoon. Reading all the little crosses attached to the railings of the children’s playground on my way home was moving. Can’t even begin to imagine xxxxx C

Kensington Rarebit – Recipe No. 182

This is a delicious, simple, wartime recipe from the ‘Good Eating’ Daily Telegraph Readers Tested Recipes, published during WW2.

It’s main ingredients are potatoes which I adore but also a I’ve topped mine with a really tasty vegan cheese which melts beautifully and adds a tangy flavour. I’m finding that Applewood Vegan is a great substitute for dairy cheese if you are watching your cholesterol levels or simply wish to avoid dairy for your own personal reasons.

Kensington Rarebit

  • Potatoes (about 1 large potato per person)
  • Cheese
  • Cabbage/Onions (optional)

Method

  1. Scrub potatoes and boil in their skins until cooked.
  2. Once cooked skin (or not) and cut into rather thick slices and put into buttered fireproof dish and cover lightly with grated cheese (I added some seasoning and dried herbs to top as well as some thin raw onion slices)
  3. Bake or place under grill until cheese is melted and slightly brown.
  4. Serve immediately adding salt and pepper to taste.

PS: Shred cabbage and boil in a little water, drain and add to bottom of fireproof dish under the potato slices, this will make more of a complete meal.

Potato Salad with Dutch Sauce – Recipe No. 179

I’ve been really craving potatoes today, especially a potato salad.

Curious as to what (during rationing in WW2) people slathered their spuds in, I delved into ‘Feeding the Nation’ by Marguerite Patten OBE. Heinz Salad Cream became a wartime favourite like any convenience food was often in limited supply so many of the ration book recipes called for making homemade dressings which tried to replicate salad cream or mayonnaise.

Quite frankly they were all quite bland but palatable nevertheless especially if a spoonful of salad cream was added to the mixture to give it a boost.

I used the below recipe for ‘Dutch Sauce’, I halved the quantities and still made enough sauce for a large potato salad for 3 or 4. I also added in a spoonful of salad cream afterwards and despite my best efforts at spicing it up in a way I thought might be authentic, it was still rather bland. The chopped spring onions, chopped chives sprinkled over the top and extra salt and pepper helped.

Potato Salad
Boil lb. potatoes in their skins. Peel and cut into chunks (I left skins on). Add a little chopped onion (I used spring onion). While warm bind together with salad dressing. When cold, sprinkle with parsley (hate parsley so used chives from the garden instead).

Dutch Sauce (salad dressing – I halved these ingredients)
3 oz flour
1 pint of milk or fish stock (I used oat milk)
3 teaspoons dried mustard
1 egg (optional)
3 to 4 tablespoons of vinegar
salt and pepper

Method
Blend the flour with a little of the milk or fish stock.
When smooth add the rest of the liquid and bring to the boil.
Cook for 2 or 3 minutes stirring all the time.
Mix the mustard, salt and pepper with the egg and add to the sauce.
Stir over a gentle heat but do not let the sauce boil again.
Add the vinegar. Stir well and serve (the egg in this recipe is optional)

You can use this sauce as mayonnaise if fish stock isn’t used.

I let the sauce cool down and the potatoes cool down so they were only slightly warm then mixed the potatoes with the sauce as well as the chopped spring onion and chopped chives over the top then refrigerated.